Living Stones Series: First Published in All Around Old Bridge Publication – June 2023
By Pastor Lloyd Pulley
I grew up without a father and it is hard to estimate the level of frustration and insecurity I battled in my childhood. I got into many fights and didn’t have a good handle on proper boundaries, which fathers typically provide.
My grandmother secured a “Big Brother of America” for me – a wise man who did not try to be my friend but became a father figure. He did not plan our time together for me to be entertained, but being a part of the greatest generation, he brought me into his world. This taught me how to be a man – something greatly missing in today’s family.
Parents longing for their children to like them is a recipe for disaster! Children need nurture from moms, but they need training and discipline from dads. The main difference between a boy and a man is that a boy needs discipline, and a man disciplines himself. That is the goal – to train young men to take responsibility. They need to learn how to do their duty whether they like it or not. This forms the man!
Fathers displaying a patient but firm, kind but challenging, persona is what boys need. They must teach boys right from wrong and develop a good work ethic. Chores are given for the development of their children. They need to learn to respect girls and young ladies. They must know how to stand up for what is right, even when unpopular.
I believe men in the church community are desperately needed when boys lack fathers, to inspire and challenge these young men as I was. As the Bible says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).